Holy Monasteries

Coordinates: 37.172738, 21.942276

Μonastery of Voulkanos

At a beautiful location with dense vegetation, on the eastern slope of mount Ithome, between the villages of Mavrommati and Valyra, is the majestic monastery of Voulkanos, one of the most well-known and important monastery centers in Messenia.

Its initial location was at the top of mount Ithome, where there was an ancient sanctuary of Zeus Ithomata. According to tradition it was founded in 725 by iconolater monks and its catholicon, dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin, is decorated with remarkable wall paintings of 1608, works of the brothers Moschos from Nafplio. In the beginning of the 17th century, due to the difficult living conditions, the monks abandoned it and transferred lower, at the present day location. During the Turkish occupation, the monastery flourished, it was a stauropegic one and had great property and various metochia on Messenia and in Smyrna. It was a refuge for the fighters and during the Revolution of 1821 had important contribution, with the provision of money and food. It was torched by the armies of Ibrahim in 1825 and its monks sought refuge at Mani and Zakynthos, taking with them the icon of Virgin Mary, but they returned in 1828. The monastery has been operational since then.

The complex is surrounded by cell and auxiliary areas buildings. The catholicon was built in 1701 and took its present day form in the beginning of the 20th century. it is a cross-in-square church with a dome and at its interior there were excellent wall paintings that were destroyed by Ibrahim and were covered with whitewash in 1882. At the church they keep the exceptional, miraculous icon of Panagia Voulkaniotissa or Odigitria, which is said to be the work of Luke the Evangelist. The monastery has relics of saints and a lot more relics, which are exhibited in a museum area.

Nowadays the old monastery is closed and opens only the period around the 15th of August. The new one celebrates on the 15th of August, while on the 20th of September a long celebration takes place and a procession of the icon in Messenia.





15th of August, 19th of September (litany)

Holy Metropolis: 

Under the Supervision of: 
Archaeological Service of Messinia

Mavromati 24002



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